Pakistan – 2019 Cricket World Cup Preview
In this guide, we will look at Pakistan’s likely squad for the upcoming Cricket World Cup. We’ll consider the Pakistan 2019 Cricket World Cup odds that the bookmakers have quoted for a Pakistan victory and see if there is any value in taking a Satta.
The preview explores Pakistan’s history at the Cricket World Cup and ends with an analysis of the team’s key strengths and potential weaknesses.
How Pakistan got to the 2019 Cricket World Cup
Pakistan were one of eight teams who earned automatic qualification to the 2019 World Cup, thanks to their ODI ranking. The ICC want the best teams involved in the tournament. They therefore decreed that hosts England, along with the next seven highest ranked sides would make it through.
As of February, the Pakistan 2019 Cricket World Cup team were listed at number five in the world. And while the ICC cut off point came much earlier, they were always comfortable qualifiers.
Pakistan’s Odds to win the 2019 Cricket World Cup
At the start of March 2019, bettors could claim Pakistan 2019 Cricket World Cup odds of 10.00 with Betway on Pakistan to win the contest. They are generally installed as sixth favourites to succeed. However, there are still reasons why backers might want to get involved.
Firstly, if we’re looking for the team that won the last 50 over tournament in England, then we’ve found them. Pakistan claimed the ICC Champions Trophy in 2017. And they upset the favourites on a number of occasions along the way. The one thing that the Pakistan 2019 Cricket World Cup side can lack is consistency. But on their day, they can beat any opponent and that price of 10.00 will appeal to some punters.
Pakistan’s History in the World Cup
Pakistan were one of the eight teams who played in the very first World Cup back in 1975. That particular squad didn’t progress out of the groups. But the 1992 team, led by Imran Khan did famously win the title in 1992.
– 1975 to 1987
It all began with that first tournament in England. And although Pakistan had a strong team, they were placed in a tough group with eventual finalists West Indies and Australia. Majid Khan’s side lost to both, but they signed off with a big win over Sri Lanka.
The World Cup returned to England in 1979. This time, though, Pakistan overcame the Aussies to make it out of the groups. In the semi final, however, they had the misfortune to come up against the rampant West Indies and they went down by 43 runs.
The 1983 tournament produced an almost identical performance. The Pakistan squad qualified for the knockouts, just ahead of New Zealand, before going down in the semis to the Windies once again. The eight wicket losing margin was even more emphatic but things were generally improving.
1987 saw the competition moved out of the UK for the first time as Pakistan were named co-hosts. Things looked promising as the side delighted home supporters by finishing top of Group B with five wins from six. The semis would be a step too far again though as eventual champions Australia came through to win by 18 runs.
– 1992 to 1999
The Aussies were co-hosts in 1992 and therefore laid the backdrop for Pakistan’s finest hour. This was the era of the great Wasim Akram and Javed Miandad and it was all held together by skipper Imran Khan.
Pakistan weren’t always at their best in a new Round Robin stage. Nevertheless, they made it into the top four, one point ahead of Australia. From there, it was straight to the semi finals where 60 from a developing Inzamam-ul-Haq helped his side beat New Zealand by six wickets.
On they went to the final where opponents England started strongly by taking early wickets. However, it was the skipper Imran, playing in his last ODI who took Pakistan to a respectable total with a well-made 72.
Chasing 250 to win, England were always in trouble after losing Ian Botham for a six-ball duck. Three wickets from Mushtaq Ahmed then sealed a 22 run win to hand Pakistan their first. And so far only World Cup title.
As defending champions in the 1996 tournament, Pakistan were one of three co-hosts. And they qualified from Group B in second place, behind South Africa. With so many new countries involved, we now had a quarter final stage where Pakistan fell, beaten by India by 39 runs.
We returned to the UK for the 1999 World Cup. Another strong set of early displays subsequently saw Pakistan top their group. This time, they would not fall at the first knockout hurdle, either, as a century from Saeed Anwar saw his side to a big win over New Zealand in the semi.
Pakistan found themselves in their second World Cup final. But the team didn’t really turn up, posting just 132 before losing to Australia by eight wickets.
– 2003 to 2015
In 2003, we moved on to South Africa and Zimbabwe. However, Pakistan performed poorly and failed to make it beyond the group stage for the first time since 1975. Following a similar pattern, 2007 in the West Indies saw Pakistan finishing behind Ireland and failing to get out of Group D.
A decline had set in for the 1992 champions. Nonetheless, matters improved in 2011 as Pakistan won five out of six matches to top their section. The run continued with a big win over West Indies in the quarter finals. But India ended the challenge with a semi final success.
We get right up to date with the 2015 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand which ended at the quarter final stage. The format made it hard not to qualify from the groups. Pakistan’s progress was then ended emphatically in the first knockout round by eventual champions Australia.
Pakistan’s best player heading into the 2019 Cricket World Cup
There are two Pakistan batsmen currently in the Top Ten ODI World Rankings. Babar Azam is the highest at number five but the man we’re listing as the key player is Fakhar Zaman. He’d only played 31 ODIs by the end of February 2019 but he’s turned in some brilliant performances including a double century in this format.
Critics will say that Fakhar made that 210 against a weak Zimbabwe unit but any double ton deserves respect. He’s a man for the big occasions too. It was his century in the final against India that secured the ICC Champions Trophy. Between Azam, Zaman and Mohammad Amir, Pakistan should have some of the top players at the Cricket World Cup.
Pakistan 2019 Cricket World Cup Schedule
Here is a full list of confirmed fixtures for the Pakistan 2019 Cricket World Cup squad. Included are reserved days for the semi final and final, should they make it that far.
|31st May||Trent Bridge||West Indies|
|3rd June||Trent Bridge||England|
|7th June||Bristol||Sri Lanka|
|16th June||Old Trafford||India|
|23rd June||Lord’s||South Africa|
|26th June||Edgbaston||New Zealand|
|09th July||Old Trafford||Semi Final One|
|11th July||Edgbaston||Semi Final Two|
Pakistan’s biggest question mark heading into the World Cup
Supporters of Pakistan cricket may be concerned about the bowling attack of the Pakistan 2019 Cricket World Cup team. When Mohammad Amir came back into the game, the left armer had lost none of his pace and swing and he was instrumental in his side’s ICC Champions Trophy success.
However, if we look at the 2019 One Day series between Pakistan and Sri Lanka, we find what was a largely blunt and expensive bowling attack. True, it’s a competent unit. But if the conditions are dry and hot in England, Amir and his colleagues won’t aid any swing. Moreover, it’s the lack of potency in the bowling attack that opposition batsmen will target.
Pakistan’s biggest area of strength heading into the World Cup
There isn’t a great strength in batting depth, but the Pakistan 2019 Cricket World Cup squad have a competitive top order. Furthermore, if numbers one to five are on form, they can go deep into the tournament. There is good balance, too, with the patient accumulation of Imam-ul-Haq added to the more dashing styles of Babar Azam and Fakhar Zaman.
Add in the experience of Shoaib Malik and Mohammad Hafeez, and those batters hold the keys to Pakistani success.